Learning coding basics with colors
Floats including Winnie the Pooh, Homer Simpson and WALL-E glide along the parade path, while onlookers cheer them on. It's the Ozobot edition of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade happening in room 210!
The project, led by sixth grade teacher Marcia Daley-Savo and Library Media Specialist Jenn Useted, blends an English language arts lesson with computer science and digital fluency, along with the creative arts of coloring and cutting paper.
The students love it. For many, it's their first time coding Ozobots. Because it uses colors to create code, it's easy and empowering.
It requires collaboration
An interdisciplinary project
It began with the class reading “Balloons over Broadway, The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade“ by Melissa Sweet. Students learned about the important elements of non-fiction writing and the importance of characterization and details to make the story come alive. They also discussed the design process that the inventor of the big balloons used to make his prototype and finished product.
After a lesson with Useted in coding Ozobots, teams of students worked together to program the golf-ball sized robots to follow the parade route they created.
Unlike Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the floats in this procession don’t only go forward. The students coded things like nitroboost and tornado into their path, making their Ozobot speed up and spin.
An empowering process
Minutes before the parade, the creative is complete but technology is experiencing some glitches.
“This one needs work,” said one student. “It’s not going backwards.”
Daly-Savo, who is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft Innovative Education Expert recognition, and Useted stood back and let students recalibrate, debug their codes, and go on with the show.